Basinger and Theron team up for complex love story

Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:27am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE (Reuters) - Oscar winners Kim Basinger and Charlize Theron play mother and daughter in "The Burning Plain," an intense story of love and betrayal and the directorial debut by acclaimed Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga.

The film is the first of five U.S. entries to appear in the main competition at the Venice film festival, and was warmly applauded by critics and journalists on Friday at a press screening ahead of its red carpet world premiere.

Arriaga is best known for his scripts that include well received dramas "Amores perros," "21 Grams" and "Babel," for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Based on his description of his first outing behind the camera, it would appear Arriaga will be directing again.

"I enjoyed every single moment of it," he told reporters, speaking in English.

"I can tell you that directing was maybe the happiest moment of my professional life. Just arriving on set I had a smile ... and it hasn't vanished until now."

The converging strands and time jumps in "The Burning Plain," which Arriaga also wrote, are his trademarks.

"We never in real life tell stories in a linear way," Arriaga said. "We tell it always in a decomposed way.   Continued...

<p>South African actress Charlize Theron poses at her arrival at the Venice Film Festival August 29, 2008. Theron starred in the movie "The Burning Plain" by Guillermo Arriaga which was shown in the competition at the Venice Film Festival. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>